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Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for Individuals

Service Oriented Architecture – or SOA – provides functions of one software application to other applications. For example, when using your browser on My Yahoo or iGoogle allows you to add a widget that shows you the weather for your area, your team’s scores, your email, etc. These other bits of information are provided by these sources as a service, which Yahoo and Google connect to and displays in your browser. In an enterprise SOA may look like ERP software connecting to a service to get leads, an email service to send out marketing literature, a credit service to verify financial data, and a shipping company to calculate shipping charges.

Are you leveraging SOA to maximize your effectiveness? While I recognize everyone is different, this is how I use SOA in my daily life. It is so ingrained in my everyday life that I don’t really think about it… but it is vital. My process – my personal SOA – developed over time as I looked for the best tools at each stage. For example, here’s how I research:

  • I start by creating news feeds in Google for key words like “iPad,” or “Accounting;” this generates an RSS feed that I subscribe to. Google then collects articles with these terms and I get about 60-100 each day.
  • I subscribe to the news feed in Outlook and check once or twice a day to see if anything catches my interest.
  • If any do, I click a link in the article which opens and displays the full article in my browser. If I want read it then I use iReader, a browser add-in, which hides all of the advertisements and creates a nicely formatted article.
  • If I want to delay reading, I click a another add-in button for “Read It Later;” a service that sends the link to a list of articles I want to read later.
  • When I want to read articles saved for later, I often do it on my iPad. I open the ReadItLater app, which shows my list and I read each on a screen similar to iReader (no ads, etc.) and when finished with each, I check it as being read so I will not see it in my list again.
  • If an article deserves permanent consideration I tap a button in ReadItLater to send it to EverNote. Evernote is a service and client for almost any platform that I store notes, articles, documents, etc. Each of these can be categorized, searched, annotated, etc. I can then assemble them into larger works, or just share them as needed.

This may seem convoluted, but it is suited to how I work. I use four free services, four free tools, and each knows about the next in the workflow. I can work anywhere I want, when I want and it only shows me what I need at each step as I further parse the information. I can literally go through 100 articles in what amounts to a few minutes and have only relevant information at the end.

Are you leveraging technology – and integrating them together to increase your effectiveness… or the effectiveness of your organization? I’d be happy to share some more points with you, drop me an email or place your feedback below.

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